THIS WEEK: The UND soccer team hits the road again this weekend for a pair of Big Sky Conference matchups. Friday night, with a start time of 6 p.m., UND will take on Eastern Washington in Cheney, Wash. North Dakota will round off the weekend in Missoula, Mont., Sunday afternoon with a 12 p.m. kickoff against Montana.
EAGLES: Eastern Washington is led by head coach George Hageage, who is in his thirteenth season with the Eagles. Hageage and his team enter the weekend with a record of 4-6-2 (1-2-1 BSC), with three of their four wins coming on home turf. Sophomore forward, Cassie Black, leads the Eagles in both points (twelve) and goals (five). Senior Kasey McNeill follows Black with five points and two goals. Goalkeepers Nathalie Schwery and Jamie Walker have split time in the net this season. Together, they've accumulated sixty saves and a goals against average of 1.47.
GRIZZLIES: Led by second-year head coach, Mark Plakorus, the University of Montana enters the weekend with a 5-6-2 season record and a 1-2-1 Big Sky Conference record. The Grizzlies have scored ten goals on the season, with four of them coming from senior forward Erin Craig, who leads the team in both points (9) and goals. Senior goalkeeper Kristen Hoon has started all thirteen games for the Grizzlies, compiling a 1.19 goals against average in her appearances. Montana will start off the weekend with a home conference game Friday against Northern Colorado before Sunday's home matchup with North Dakota.
THIS WEEK IN THE BSC: With the first two weeks of conference soccer in the books, Northern Colorado tops the Big Sky standings with a 3-0 record.
Northern Colorado went 1-0 over the weekend with a 3-0 win over North Dakota. NC's goals came from Alexsys Tamayo in the 25th minute, Madison Yoswa in the 63rd minute, and Mallory Van Hout in the 88th minute. NC's Juliana Grover had a match-high six shots.
Portland State won its third consecutive conference match after going 2-0 over the weekend. On Friday, PSU hosted Montana in a 2-0 win for PSU. In the 27th minute, PSU's Daniela Solis scored to give the Vikings the 1-0 lead. In the 50th minute, Solis struck again after she took a shot that was deflected by a UM defender and went past UM keeper Kristen Hoon. On Sunday, PSU hosted Eastern Washington in a 4-0 win for the Vikings. PSU's Amanda Dutra had two of the goals, with teammates Megan Martin and Lynsey Gaines each adding one.
Idaho State also went 2-0 over the weekend to improve its conference record to 2-1-1. On Friday, Idaho State's Rachel Strawn scored twice in ISU's win over Southern Utah. In the 12th minute of the match, Strawn scored to give ISU the 1-0 lead. SUU's Sydney Cook equalized the match in the 79th minute. With two seconds remaining in regulation, Strawn scored the game-winning goal. On Sunday, ISU gave Northern Arizona its first conference loss as the Bengals defeated the Lumberjacks 2-1. NAU's Malia Tano was the first on the board with a goal in the 24th minute. ISU's Katie Flynn equalized the match in the 32nd minute. Less than two minutes later, Flynn assisted Amanda Ellsworth for the game-winning goal, giving ISU the 2-1 win over NAU.
Sacramento State went 1-0-1 over the weekend with a tie against Eastern Washington and a win against Montana. On Friday, the Hornets hosted EWU. Sacramento State's Alyssa Anderson scored in the 26th minute. EWU's Danielle Jones equalized the match in the 80th minute. After 110 minutes of play, the match ended in a 1-1 tie. On Sunday, the match was scoreless until the 81st minute when SAC's Victoria Ramirez scored. Less than two minutes later, SAC's Raylene Larot scored to give the Hornets the 2-0 win over Montana.
On Friday, Northern Arizona defeated Weber State 1-0. Despite being outshot 24-8, NAU's Cierra Gamble scored the only goal of the match in the 39th minute. Which gave NAU the 1-0 over WSU. In NAU's second match of the weekend, the Lumberjacks lost 2-1 to ISU.
After Weber State's loss to NAU on Friday, the Wildcats beat Southern Utah 1-0 on Sunday. WSU's Brecken Holbrook scored the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute of the match. SUU's Charly Booth finishing the match with eight saves.
A NEW HOME: The 2012 season marks the first year in North Dakota's new home of the Big Sky Conference and its first NCAA postseason-eligible campaign.
A CHANCE AT THE BIG DANCE: Only the top four teams in the Big Sky standings advance to the conference tournament to battle for the leagues automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
A PROGRAM (AND UNIVERSITY) FIRST: Sophomore forward Megan Anderson was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week (Aug. 26) becoming the first player in program history and at North Dakota to win a BSC weekly award.
The Rapid City, S.D., native, scored one goal and had three assists to finish the weekend with five points helping UND to a 4-0 win over Minnesota, Crookston and a a 4-4 (2 OT) tie against South Dakota.
ALL-BIG SKY: Rhaya Ballon was named to the Madness 2012 Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Second Team as selected by its staff in expectation of these players making significant contributions to their team in the upcoming season.
A Rogers, Minn., native, Ballon led UND with nine goals in 2011 and finished second in points with 19 while starting all 18 games. She scored at least one point in 10 of 18 games.
In her three seasons at North Dakota, Ballon has totaled 16 goals and six assists for 38 points.